The moment you realize your timeshare was grossly overpriced is a painful one. If this post is the reason you are having this feeling for the first time, our sincerest apologies. Our intentions are not to offend anyone, but to provide candid and raw information.

It’s not so devastating to find out that the agent misled you (I’m sure you realized this by now). I mean, sure the timeshare probably didn’t go up in value – but it’s probably worth the same, right?

Nope – it’s worth virtually zero. And it’s not necessarily the salesman’s fault; it’s actually been engrained in you and everyone in America for generations now – real estate value rises. It’s a “truth” that we have all known all our lives up until the real estate bubble collapsed in 2007. Every single person reading this has always seen real estate value increase, so you were sure that the timeshare would at least maintain its value. To be fair, the cards were incredibly stacked against you in the first place – but after the real estate bubble popped in dramatic fashion, there was zero hope.

But we are all looking for that miracle to save us, right?  Well be careful for these two common scams:

This is a how a typical “buyer” scam goes:

Ring…Ring…Ring…. “Mrs. Customer? Hi, it’s Steve over at “I’ll Say Whatever It Takes.” Yup, here we go. “We had your name on a list of persons interested in selling over at [insert resort name here]. We have a buyer that’s interested in your property! He is willing to pay $23,000 for it and is ready to close now!” They make it sound like the heavens just opened up and tapped you on the shoulder to solve your woes. Great, isn’t it?

For those who have never received this phone call, let’s explain how this scam ends:

“Mrs. Customer, it is guaranteed that our mystery buyer is going to purchase your specific week. As a matter of fact, we will have this closed within the next week and will have the money in your hands within 30 days, guaranteed. There are NO fees for our services as the buyer is the one paying us. It’s a very simple sales process, Mrs. Customer. All you need to do is give us an escrow deposit to cover the costs to do a title search and also cover any estoppel fees. The escrow amount is only $3,500. Now don’t worry – its 100% guaranteed that he is going to buy this property. The best part is that once it closes, your $3,500 is added back into the purchase price – which means he pays it back and then we reimburse you. Guaranteed. We are so happy you are willing to sell. I’ll take your credit card information now…” And in the end, the property is never sold and you never get that escrow money you paid.

This is how a typical “list on our website” scam goes:

Ring…Ring…Ring…. “Mrs. Customer? Hi, it’s Steve from www.itwillneversell.com. We just wanted to let you know that your resort is currently in very high demand on our website. As a matter of fact, if you list your property on our website, we will guarantee it will get sold, or your money back.” This scam works in sheer volume, meaning that they only scam people out of $500-$1,500 at a time. Since it is a relatively small “listing fee” it works better because many people think of it as only “half” of their maintenance fee. Unfortunately, people all across the country fall for this scam. All of these people were convinced by the telemarketers guarantee that if it wasn’t sold – they could get their money back.

From what we have uncovered, we can confirm how this scam actually works:

The phone room contacts you and promises that they can list your property on their high demand website and people for a very easy sell. As a matter of fact, “people are selling their weeks all the time on their website”. They tell you that your week should probably be valued at the amount you paid when you first bought it, for example $17,900. Why not list it for this price? They “guarantee to keep your valuable week on our website until its either sold by us or someone else”. Well, the scam was in the wording of that guarantee. They convince you to put up your listing at an absurdly high price, because for you to get your money back – someone would have to buy it from their website at the inflated price of $17,900 – and not a penny less! Now, what about the part of the guarantee where you can get your money back “if it’s sold by someone else”? For you to get your money back from this scam, you would have to find a buyer for their suggested, over inflated, valuation price of $17,900! They convince you to put your listing on their website for a price that it could never sell for – just so the money back guarantee becomes worthless.

In summary, even if you gave your timeshare away to a friend and no longer needed to list it or if you found a buyer for even $500, you wouldn’t get back your listing fee. With this scam there is no way you could get your listing fee back and you technically have no legal authority to request it.

Do not fall for either of these above scams!

Comments are closed.